Saudi restaurants no longer need to segregate women and men

The decision, which essentially ends gender segregation rules in public, was quietly announced Sunday in a lengthy and technically worded statement by the Municipal and Rural Affairs Ministry. While some restaurants and cafes in the coastal city of Jiddah and Riyadh's upscale hotels had already been allowing unrelated men and women to sit freely, the move codifies what has been a sensitive issue in the past among traditional Saudis who view gender segregation as a religious requirement.

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